Date of Birth: 2/12/1859
A French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman who moved away from the apparent spontaneity and rapidity of Impressionism and developed a structured, more monumental art to depict modern urban life. Born into a wealthy family in Paris, Seurat first studied art with Justin Lequien, a sculptor. Seurat attended the cole des Beaux-Arts in 1878 and 1879. He studied the works of early Italian and 17th-century French artists in the Louvre; and then exhibiting at the official Salon. He spent 1883 on his first major painting, a huge canvas titled "Bathers at Asnires." After his painting was rejected by the Paris Salon, Seurat turned away from such establishments, instead allying himself with independent artists. In the summer of 1884 Seurat began work on his masterpiece, "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte", which took him two years to complete. Seurat combined a traditional approach, based on his academic training, with a study of modern techniques, such as Impressionism. He also applied ideas from contemporary optical theories of colour relationships. Seurat's disciplined work, which contrasts with that of many of his Impressionist contemporaries, was very influential.